Well here we are 2019!
The New Year naturally coaxes us in to thinking about the future, what we want to change, what we are less satisfied or unhappy with. This often results in resolutions which can easily leave us feeling pressured and, if we slip up, like we have failed. I actually don’t like the whole New Year ‘resolution’ thing for these exact reasons so prefer instead to think about goals for the year ahead and beyond.
There is the natural ‘starting over’ feeling that comes with the new year. It is the time (and it definitely happens automatically with me) to think about the year gone by, what’s happened, the challenges I’ve faced, the things I’ve done and perhaps haven’t done and what I would like to be doing and my dreams and desires. This process of taking stock has been even more prevalent than in previous years because of the big, unplanned changes that happened to me and the uncertainty these changes brought throughout 2018.
Two New Years ago, I was in a very different place. Newly separated from an adulterous husband and in the midst of a very difficult situation I still can’t fully come to talk about yet. My world had collapsed and Christmas alone had been hard enough to get through, let alone having to face a New Year. I just wanted the world to go away. It was too overwhelming to think about anything ‘future’ and I was still just getting through each day.
Last New Year, though a year had passed and I was much happier, I was still in the middle of a very acrimonious divorce, had no idea whether I would be able to stay in my home and faced what felt like a continuous onslaught of vicious communications from solicitors. It was a tough start to 2018 and I felt anxious as to what was ahead. I was also exhausted from the past year and all the craziness that came with it. I felt like I had been dragged from my normal, wholesome life and forced to live through soap opera drama.
At this point I realise that unless you have been following me for a while you’re probably wondering what on earth I am on about. If you want to learn more about the background to this then here was my original post on the subject and the post I wrote last New Years is here.
Other than a few references on Instagram posts around the time of the divorce court dates, I just felt I couldn’t write about what was going on. The nasty solicitors’ letters I mentioned earlier made it abundantly clear that I was being watched, scrutinised in fact. They mocked this blog and my Instagram in an attempt to belittle me and therefore my case. It was dirty tactics from desperate and pathetic people, I can see that now. But at the time, the whole situation just shattered my self-esteem and took away the inclination to write openly and honestly. I genuinely didn’t know how tough I would find it, or how exhausted I would be from it all and while I felt in a way that I had left the story ‘hanging’ I just didn’t want to write any more about it until I felt ready to do so and that had to be from a balanced place and not as a knee-jerk reaction to all that had happened.
I’ve actually written posts many times over but for whatever reason just never published them. I think that when you have been on the hamster-wheel of a crazy situation you try to process it as you go along but it’s only when it comes to a conclusion that you then can then really process it.
From May, when the divorce became final, I just let my mind ‘file’ everything that had happened. There were no sudden leaps of joy or bursts of energy like you might expect. It was almost a time of detachment. I was just so tired
I almost wanted to run away but I had started a new job (the week before my court dates – great timing Katy) and had to keep going. I went into ‘keep calm and carry on’ mode. On the one hand, I had a huge sense of freedom but at the same time I also felt a bit lost.
Unfortunately it has only ever been a month or two throughout this whole situation before another ‘thing’ happened to unsteady the ship. And this time, it was just a few months after the Divorce was made final, in July, that I was sent a shot of a post that my ex’s partner, the girl he had had an affair with, had posted publicly talking about how the divorce was finally over like it was hers to talk about. That was vulgar in itself but there were also distasteful mentions of a ‘divorce party’ and an attempt to justify their behaviour. It shocked me, here was someone who had knowingly had an affair with a married man, (something I now know she had attempted several times before) who had done something most people would agree is wrong, now making the situation all about her and desperately trying to justify it. No apologies, no feeling of remorse or any expression of what a horrible situation it had been, how they had never meant to hurt anyone or other such words that any decent human being might convey. Those words wouldn’t have undone their wrong doing but it would have at least demonstrated some empathy or ownership of what they had done. Instead, she did the opposite in a distasteful and frankly childish manor. But, it’s a known fact that those who can’t cope with their own guilt project it on to others. Interestingly, my ex husband stayed silent on the subject and I can only imagine the embarrassment he must have felt from her outburst.
Again, in August, another installment. I learnt through a well meaning friend that she, who it’s safe to assume had never had an interest in anything other than publishing endless filtered ‘selfies,’ had started her own interiors and renovation account.
It’s very difficult to put in to context just how much that freaked me out because there is a huge amount of the story that I have never spoken about. I’m no psychologist and would hate to speculate but it was clear that all was not ‘right’ with her. I was aware through friends that in the early months of her relationship with my ex, she had created several ‘copycat’ type pictures – almost recreating images that had been on my or my ex-husband’s feeds. Ok a bit weird we all thought but people do copy other people, some even see it as flattery. But, I had also had several acquaintances of hers (strangers to me) contact me to share their disgust at what had happened to me, offer their words of support and tell me the narcissistic type of person they knew her really to be. Even my ex husband indicated she had checked emails, messages and social media so in this context it felt less harmless and instead very uncomfortable. I felt unsettled that she was seemingly trying to replicate my life, I felt angry and hurt after the solicitors’ attempts to de-rail me and this all just felt like a step too far an opinion shared by many who could see that this was getting increasingly odd. So, I seriously considered closing down my Instagram account.
On the one hand, my Instagram ‘hobby’ had helped me through a horrible time and channel my energy in to something creative. It had allowed me too focus on something positive and take my attention away from all that nonsense and given me access to a community so unbelievably supportive and kind. But at the same time, knowing this potentially was another area she was attempting to replicate was just too much. This isn’t the post to go too deeply into my thoughts and feelings on this specifically but safe to say it really made me pull back and consider a way to stop this ongoing behaviour. My motivation for blogging plummeted. I still posted pictures on Instagram but less frequently and never with the passion I had before.
I’m still not 100% certain on the longer term but, right now, I couldn’t care less that I might be being watched. I’m proud of my account, I’m proud of my blog and how sharing this story has helped so many others and I’m proud of the way I have handled myself when the temptation to react or retaliate was there.
Looking back, I can see how far I have come… 2018 was a ‘just get through it’ time. I didn’t know how I would feel post-Divorce. I hadn’t known a time since being separated when this crazy old situation hadn’t been part of my life so with it all over (well over-ish) I think I did pretty well.
What helped was having time away, mini holidays and time just ‘being.’ I have definitely continued to learn to face my emotions and thoughts head on, not distract or divert from them and that remaining almost static is ok when you just need to regroup and recover. We don’t always need to be racing on to the next thing (extremely difficult for someone like me who is a perpetual ‘do-er’). I have also learnt that healing takes time and that there is no ‘time limit’. It takes as long as it takes and that’s ok. Being patient with it and being kind to yourself is important.
Time is genuinely a great healer. Yes, I still process difficult feelings but I learn to embrace them now and work through them. I struggle sometimes with anger at my self for ever being married to the person I was and like a large part of my life feels wasted. The feelings of being hurt and let down still rise up occasionally along with a sense of the injustice of what I was put through but I know these feelings will fade. Most of all, I just want to focus on my life, me, my people and the future.
So my only resolution I guess (remember I don’t like them) is to be kind to myself. That is non-negotiable. I feel I have more headspace now and I’m starting this year without a whole heap of baggage to deal with. I’ll develop my goals as I go, it’s a work in progress as are most things in life. Most of all though, I’m excited to just continue to ‘go with the flow’ and see where life takes me in a ‘littlest hobo’ kind of way.